The structure and organization of acoustic signals arise through evolutionary processes and adaptive pressures on each species. During learning, natural or anthropogenic factors, such as high noise levels in urban areas, pose challenges to acoustic communication in birds. Many species adjust their acoustic signals to higher noise levels by increasing the frequency of vocalizations. The objectives of this study were to compare the dominant frequency of songs among birds dwelling in forest fragments distant from and near to urban areas, establish correlations between the dominant frequency of song and noise levels in these environments and verified the difference of response between oscines, suboscines and non-passerines. We recorded vocalizations of birds between July/2013 and November/2014 in four forest fragments, two of them near and two distant from urban areas. We used Audacity software to measure the dominant frequency. We measured the ambient noise by a calibrated sound pressure level meter in decibels (dBA) in each of the forest fragments. We analyzed 3740 vocalizations of nine tropical bird species. Forest fragments near to urban areas have higher noise levels than more distant forest fragments. Eight of nine studied species presented higher dominant frequencies of songs in forest fragments near to urban areas. Only one species, Myiothlypis flaveola, did not change the dominant frequency of song between the four analyzed forest fragments. The difference in dominant frequency between the forest fragments distant and closer to the urban areas did not vary between oscines, suboscines and non-passerines. Eight tropical birds exhibited higher dominant frequencies of song in forest fragments near urban areas with high level of ambient noise. Oscine, suboscine and non-passerine showed song variations. Bird species that have differences in the vocalization dominant frequency can be used in environmental monitoring and in ethological studies, as they are sensitive to high noise levels.Noise pollution caused by the vehicular traffic and urbanization are correlates with changes in the vocalization of tropical birds in forest fragments.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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